THE BEST VIEW: Crocs, bandanas & “Ranch Dressing”

by Norma Best Boucher

Listen up! You are the first to know. I am “officially” eccentric. I can see the raised eyebrows of the people who do not know me and the rolling of the eyes of the people who do know me. For the new people, just how eccentric am I? For my friends, I have crossed the line from oddity to eccentricity—there is no stopping me now.

The oddity stage started when I was a little girl living on a street with all boys. I thought I was a pretty normal tomboy, but in later years I met an older woman whose family had lived on my street who told me that her husband used to refer to me as “the character.” At first, I was insulted, but then I took the name as being my own person, which is evidently still true to this day.

Most of my family members were eventually involved in the business world, actually owning various businesses. I was the English major with a vivid imagination always writing or telling stories. We were all encouraged to be what we wanted to be, not what anyone else expected us to be. What freedom —to be accepted for what we were. I remember doing something that a non-family member thought odd, but my cousins stood up for me and responded with understanding, “Oh, that’s just Norma.”
Acceptance felt good.

Let’s see, now, eccentricity. I have discovered Crocs, the shoes not the reptile. Although there are many new stylish choices, I enjoy the original round-toed, holey clogs. I was at an appointment the other day with a young lady taking my blood pressure. She saw my Crocs (I was wearing my bright pink Crocs at the time.) and mentioned that there were many new styles.

“I know,” I said, “but I like the ugly ones.”

From the expression on her face, I could tell that she didn’t appreciate eccentricity.

I own many colorful pairs of Crocs, purchased at sale prices at a local discount clothing store. I like to choose shockingly bright colors that might ordinarily clash with my outfit, but by being eccentric, the colors merely stand out in total eccentricity.

About 20 years ago I discovered elasticized waist bands. Although my weight didn’t seem to change, my actual figure did, hence the elasticized waist bands. I discovered well-known national brand-named jeans with elasticized waist bands and was happy for many years. As the years progressed, I did have to hunt for those jeans. I went from one national department store to a different national department store until finally the last national department store closed all of its stores near me. I was forced to search online but to no avail.

I never gave up searching, though, and finally I found my jeans in not only dark blue denim but also in my beloved light blue denim and on sale. I just kept clicking on the links until I was into a company that only had stores in the northwest of the US of A. Then I noticed the name of the store. Let’s just say that the word “farm” was in the store name. I have nothing against farming. I have had my share of gardens and enjoyed them, but to buy my well-known national brand-named jeans from a farm supply store? That did it. Either I could be insulted, or I could be eccentric. I chose to be eccentric. I was nearly there anyway, so why not?

I was sulking about the “farm” thing and finally shared with my friends my dilemma.

“Go for it,” they all said. “Wear your wildest colored Crocs and add a bandana as an accessory.”

That sounded reasonable, maybe even stylish. No one had to know the store had the word “farm” in its name. I began to rationalize the situation. Farm stores sell animal feed. Horses eat feed, and horses live on ranches. I’ll just substitute the word “ranch” for “farm.” I went right online and ordered two pairs of “ranch” jeans, one in each color.

I am in my 70s now, but as I walk out my front door dressed in my bright red Crocs, my paisley-designed red bandana in my right pants pocket with just a hint of color showing from the corner of the bandana, and my new dark navy “ranch” jeans, I am the 10-year-old “character” of my youth going out to play with my cousins.

“Oh, that’s just Norma,” I hear them say.


Acceptance feels good.


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1 reply
  1. Laura Moore
    Laura Moore says:

    Great story Norma, and all true ! You should write a book! Hurry though because I’m getting old !!!!


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